Deena McMahon on Childhood Sexual Abuse
I have worked with hundreds of sexual abuse survivors, both adults and children. In 2011, I was hired by a plaintiff’s attorney in a civil case involving more than 500 individuals who had been sexually and/or physically abused by Jesuit priests in Washington and Montana. I interviewed many of the claimants to help determine the extent of the damage they had suffered. They were all Native American senior citizens who had grown up in Jesuit boarding schools. I’ve performed initial interviews, written forensic reports, defended those reports in court as a sexual abuse expert witness, and provided ongoing treatment. I’ve led groups for sexual abuse survivors and for pre-adolescent boys accused of sexual perpetration. With effective and early intervention, children who have been sexually abused can, more often than not, go on to lead very positive lives.